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Former Amherst Business School Dean Named UMass Dartmouth Chancellor

Benches and stairs as seen from the catwalk between the Campus Center and the Liberal Arts Building on the UMass Dartmouth campus.
Creative Commons / wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Massachusetts_Dartmouth#
Benches and stairs as seen from the catwalk between the Campus Center and the Liberal Arts Building on the UMass Dartmouth campus.

Updated at 2:32 p.m. 

After 69 people formally applied to be the next chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, system officials landed on the person who has been leading the campus on an interim basis since January.

University trustees on Monday signed off on UMass President Marty Meehan's pick of Mark Fuller as the new chancellor of the almost-7,900 student campus that is home to the only public law school in Massachusetts.

Fuller spent nine years as dean of UMass Amherst's Isenberg School of Management and three years as vice chancellor for advancement at the flagship Amherst campus.

"Over the last seven months I have been inspired by the students, faculty, and staff of UMass Dartmouth and by the people and civic leadership of the SouthCoast," he said in a statement. "I'm excited about the spirit of collaboration, inclusion, perseverance, and innovation that I have found in confronting the challenges posed by the pandemic and in creating new cultural and economic opportunity across the region. These are qualities that are critical to sustaining an environment of learning and discovery. I look forward to making the SouthCoast my home and accelerating the work we have started for our students and the community."

Former UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Robert Johnson left the school in June 2020 to become president of Western New England University, and UMass officials launched their official search for his successor in April 2021, three months after Meehan selected Fuller as interim chancellor.

The search committee, chaired by UMass Trustee Stephen Karam, held 10 forums for the school community and worked with the national search firm Greenwood/Asher. UMass said the firm communicated with 370 prospective candidates, and the search committee interviewed 11 of the 69 who applied.

A total of 7,869 students were enrolled at UMass Dartmouth in fall of 2020, down from 8,154 in fall 2019 and 8,513 in fall 2018, according to the school's enrollment data.

UMass Dartmouth says its student body represents 48 states and 47 countries, and 34% are students of color. Half of its undergrads are first-generation students, and 41% demonstrate the degree of financial need that makes them eligible for federal Pell grants.

Fuller was a first-generation college student who helped pay his way through the University of Arizona — where he earned bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees — by working as a cardiac technician and taking out loans, according to UMass. Before coming to Massachusetts, he was a professor and information systems department chair at Washington State University and previously taught at Baylor University.

Dartmouth Rep. Christopher Markey said Fuller's "extraordinary public higher education track record and his personal background allow him to relate very closely with the people of the region."

With Fuller aboard at Dartmouth, UMass Lowell will likely be the next of the university system's five campuses to get a new chancellor.

Lowell Chancellor Jacquie Moloney announced in July that she plans to step down at the end of the next academic year, in June 2022. Marcelo Suárez-Orozco became chancellor of the Boston campus last year, UMass Amherst Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy has held his role at the flagship campus since 2012, and Dr. Michael Collins officially became the UMass Medical School chancellor in 2008.